Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Glacier National Park is increasing recreational access and services on a limited basis on June 8. The park has been closed to visitors since March 24 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Glacier released its phased reopening plan last week. This limited opening approach will allow the park to continue coordinating with the Blackfeet Tribe while the tribe maintains restrictions through June 30, help the park and internal business partners improve and refine mitigation actions with lighter levels of visitation, and allow for an assessment of how returning visitors affect COVID-19 curves within surrounding gateway communities.
“We understand the economic importance that Glacier has to our gateway communities,” Superintendent Jeff Mow said in a news release. “Our goal is to gradually provide visitor access and to mitigate for and respond quickly to any new infections should they occur.”
The park’s reopening priorities center on protecting the public and employees from transmission risks through a variety of mitigation actions consistent with local, state, tribal, and federal guidance.
The park will actively monitor changing conditions (in the park and in surrounding counties); and will maintain flexibility to expand, adjust, or contract operations as conditions warrant. The park has developed a range of mitigation actions that include: providing protective barriers where needed, encouraging the use of masks or facial coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained, increasing cleaning frequency of facilities, adding signage on boardwalks and other public spaces, and messaging to visitors through a variety of methods.
This story will be updated.